David Mateo holds a long conversation with Tomás Sánchez that has been edited for the present book. Both speak profoundly and respectfully about controversial events that have signed Tomás’ career along his life as student, teacher and creator in Cuba and abroad. As the data and anecdotes emerge abundantly, David Mateo adjusts his agenda to the personality of Tomás Sánchez, for whom meditation has become a daily experience and center of his artistic activity, helping him widen his conscience about the world and the represented universes.
One could imagine that, facing an artist whose paintings reach extremely high prices in the market and whose work marked a before and after in contemporary landscapism, a sharp interviewer like David Mateo would take advantage of this interview to introduce themes such as the international marketing of art and the Latin American landscapist tradition, themes that have been repeatedly included in his work as essayist and journalist.
The conversation turns more interesting as both speculate on how the landscape, until very recently assumed by some as minor genre and devaluated because of its lack of conceptual pretensions, could become the most expensive art form of a living Cuban artist. Which tells about how the genre has succeeded in inserting itself naturally in the artistic scene after a conceptual and formal opening, and how it again has sensitized and mobilized thought and emotion.
The richness and legacy of this interview can be measured by that splitting of Tomás Sánchez’ life into wider debates through which it is possible to measure the tempo and material and subjective conditions in which not only the landscape but art in general are produced. As rightfully stated by the author of the prologue, Antonio Eligio (Tonel), it is a book that provokes . . . reflections and commentaries about politics, ideology, philosophy, religion, the art market, and ecologist concerns.
Despite the difficulties in the dissemination and reception of this book, the readers have access here to one of the most complete and daring interviews ever made to Tomás Sánchez.
David Mateo, 2015
Publishing House: Collage Ediciones, 2015
Edition coordinator: Ena Domech
Edition and proofreading: Eliana Dávila
Prologue: Antonio Eligio (Tonel)
Design: R 10 studio
Photography of works and images on pages 40 and 98: courtesy of the artist
Images on pages 20, 23, 24, 29, 30, 35, 84, 86: Rodolfo Martínez
Photos of Tomás Sánchez: Belkis Martín
Printing: Selvi Artes Gráficas, Valencia, Spain
120 pp. / Illus.
Covers: Basura de colores bajo la tormenta (Garbage of Colors under the Storm), 1991
Format: 23.8 x 18.9 x 0.7 cm